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September 2009 Archive

Time Warner To Make Showbiz Acquisitions

If you, like me, think Big Media will eventually just consist of Disney, Time Warner, and News Corp as MGM, Viacom/Paramount, and NBC Universal get gobbled up because of consolidation, here’s more evidence: Time Warner Inc, already flush with extra cable cash, will eventually sell the Time Inc magazine unit and could use the bigger bounty to buy holdings in its core entertainment category. That’s according to Gordy Crawford, the managing director of its largest… Read

Box Office

'Cloudy' Soars, 'Fame' and 'Surrogates' Flop

SUNDAY AM: Analysis coming… 1. Meatballs (Sony) Week 2, Wkd $24.6M (-19%), [3,119] Cume $60M 2. Surrogates (Disney) NEW, Wkd $15M [2,951] 3. Fame (MGM) NEW, Wkd $10M [3,096] 4. The Informant (WB) Week 2, Wkd $6.9M (-34%) [2,505] Cume $20.9M 5. I Can Do Bad All By Myself (LG) Week 3, Wkd $4.7M [2,120] Cume $44.5M 6. Pandorum (Overture) NEW, Wkd $4.4M [2,506] 7. Love Happens (Universal) Week 2, Wkd $4.3M (-46%) [1,898] Cume $14.M 8. Jennifer’s Body (Fox), Week 2, Wkd $3.5M… Read

Roman Polanski Double-Crossed By Swiss

UPDATE: The Los Angeles Times reported this morning that LA prosecutors planned Roman Polanski’s arrest in Switzerland after learning he would be accepting a film festival award in Zurich. Prosecutors sent a provisional arrest warrant to the U.S. Justice department which presented it Swiss authorities. News outlets report that Roman Polanski was arrested by police in Switzerland today on a 31-year-old international warrant as he arrived at the Zurich airport to receive a… Read

Tom Ortenberg Exits The Weinstein Co

EXCLUSIVE: The company and Tom Ortenberg say he asked to leave TWC for “personal reasons”. This news comes against a backdrop of financial drama at TWC including a new round of layoffs to get the company down to 90 people. But the president of theatrical films just told me, “I asked for and was granted a release from my contract with The Weinstein Co. My last day with the company will be September 30th. I want to thank Bob and Harvey fo the terrific opportunity they gave… Read

EXCLUSIVE DETAILS: MGM Makes Phone Plea To Bondholders To Stay Alive; Both 'Hobbit' And James Bond In Peril; Bondholders Tell Studio To Go Bankrupt; MGM Calls That Worst Possible Outcome

I’ve collected several knowledgeable accounts of what happened during yesterday’s multi-hour contentious MGM conference call with bondholders who were “very loud and very upset”. Here’s why: The call was for the benefit of the lenders, and MGM management made the presentation along with Stephen F Cooper, that Zolfo Cooper restructure specialist. MGM made a desperate plea for money because the studio had missed its numbers and was going to be out of funds very soon. “The… Read

SAG OFFICIAL ELECTION RESULTS: Ken Howard Elected New SAG Prez, Amy Aquino Secretary-Treasurer, USAN's Mike Hodge NY Division Prez; UFS/USAN/RBD Coalition Picks Up Seats For Bigger Majority

Refresh for breaking news… 5th UPDATE: One interesting note which both sides have pointed out to me tonight. If the SAG presidency race had just consisted of Unite For Strength’s Ken Howard and Membership First’s Anne-Marie Johnson (without spoiler Seymour Cassell whose positions were extremely hardline), then Johnson would have won the popular vote. More on this in a SAG/WGA election analysis I’m writing tonight. 4TH UPDATE: Here’s the official SAG announcement… Read

AGENCY CATFIGHT OVER ALICIA KEYS: WME And Her People Say She Hasn't Gone To CAA; But CAA Tells Hollywood She Has

2ND UPDATE: Well, well, well… I don’t think I’ve ever seen this before. CAA believes tonight that it signed Alicia Keys away from her longtime agent, WME co-CEO Dave Wirtschafter. But WME and Alicia’s people say it ain’t so. I just got word that Keys’ manager Jeff Robinson, with Alicia sitting by his side, issued this statement: “No official decision has been made yet.” Here’s what happened behind the scenes: Robinson has been “entertaining the notion”, in the words of… Read

Why Did Ken Ehrlich Ax Grammys' Tisha Fein?

Normally, I don’t do music. (As I often say, I have enough trouble dealing with the scoundrels in Hollywood that I can’t possible take on the crooks in the recording biz as well.) That said, I was leaked the following memo which may be of interest to many of you, especially after the recent death of Pierre Cossette. (I’ve edited out some IDs): From: Tisha Fein Sent: Wednesday, September 23, 2009 10:57 AM Subject: Re: (no subject) Here is the letter that went out. The… Read

SAG Election: Timetable For Results

UPDATE: The Screen Actors Guild said it’s expecting to have results in the national officer and NY division election around 3 PM PDT Thursday, and a live announcement and statement would follow shortly thereafter. Results in the remaining division elections are expected around 5 PM. So hang in there, Hollywood. This will be over shortly.  Read